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Israel Olive Wood Carvings And It's History

Israel Olive Wood Carvings And It's History

Olive wood carvings that are carved by hand is an art which has been practiced by Christian artisans for many centuries, especially in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Majority of the products usually involve dazzling, inspiring and educational gifts that are made for Christians all over the world.

And with the invention of electric carving tools and machinery, the art is made speedy with only the finishing done by hand.

All the carvings are done from olive wood grown from the Holy Land; hence you can expect to get the highest quality of the piece you want to buy. 

How the Art Started

The art of hand carved olive wood was started by Italian and Franciscan monks who came on a pilgrimage to Bethlehem about 400 years ago.

After moving to the city, they taught local residents how to carve and the tradition has been passed on from generation to generation.

Hand Carved Olive Wood Nativity Set

Today, the art of olive wood carving continues to be a larger part of Bethlehem residents’ source of income with experienced artists making greater profit from tourists and pilgrims.

The carvings have even been a success in the overseas market since most people are eager to own these sentimental pieces of art.

That has enabled many Christians to celebrate their Christianity in a more artistic manner from the symbolic pieces.  

What Kind Of Olive Wood Is Used In Producing The Carvings?

Olive wood for carvings is mostly harvested during the pruning season in Israel.

The olive tree selections vary from hundreds to thousands of years old with the wood being gathered from trimmings from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth among other places in Israel.

With that, the artisans can come up with high quality and exotic wood sculptures from the traditional olive wood tree.

Ideally, the tree comes with a rich variety of natural color and tonal depth, which makes it easier to select the best among many.

And the fact that olive wood is resistant to decay and receptive to surfacing treatments, you can be assured of enjoying top quality and increased durability. 

Which Olive Wood Products Can You Get From The Carvings Suppliers?

Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem particularly have plenty of fine Christian olive wood artisans that come with an astonishing quality of carvings.

Their skill is highly manifested in production of statues, crucifixes and nativity sets.

Majority of the carvings usually feature Christian and catholic gifts that are perfectly finished.

Among the sets of carvings being sold online, you can find the Last Supper olive wood plaque, olive wood Jesus cross, Christmas tree olive wood carving, covers for historical and old books , picture frames, candle holders, olive wood nativity scene ornament and olive wood Jesus & Fisherman carving.

Other exotic olive wood carvings you can find in the market include:

-Olive wood praying hands carvings

-Manger nativity scene carvings 

-Crosses and rosaries 

-Urns and vases 

-Olive wood Virgin Mary with a child

-Olive wood nativity set

-Olive wood cup carvings 

-Olive wood boxes carvings

The Wood Carving Process

Olive wood crafting is an art that requires a certain amount of labor intensity and involves a number of stages.

While in the past the products could be done by hand from start to finish, today drilling machines are used to attain the rough outline of the desired craft.

After that, it is passed on to another artisan who chisels it to transform the rough outline.

The final stage of the process is sanding the carving down, polishing and olive waxing to give it a natural shine.

Miniature Nativity Set

The period taken to complete one carving depends on the size and level of detailed involved but some can take up to 40 days.

Olive wood is easier to carve and a committed artisan can complete the job using simple hand tools over a short period of time. 

Where Can You Find These Wood Carvings?

Currently, there are olive wood carving factories in the Holy Land that make and supply customized carvings to customers in the market. We have several items right here.

For many Bethlehem artisans, making crafts and selling them locally forms part of their daily living. And for large scale wood carvers, they produce and market or sell their products online for both the local and international market.

Majority of the products you can find online include nativity sets, statues and crucifixes.

Regardless of where the customer is based, the online-based olive wood carving stores provide shipping options that ensure you get the ordered piece of craft on time. 

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